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EPB to push RMG producers to explore new export markets
Sep '11
To boost the growth of the Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) industry, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) will push the country's RMG producers to explore potential foreign markets.

As per the figures of the Trade and Information Centre (TIC) of EPB, when Bangladesh first exported knitwear products in fiscal 1972-73 soon after it attained Independence, it earned revenue of only Tk 59 million.

By next fiscal 1972-73, the garment exports surged to Tk 218 million and since then there has been an upward trend in exports of the country's garments sector.

The earnings from garment exports in 1980-81 recorded Tk 1,883 million and the same increased to US$ 18 billion in fiscal 2010-11. This substantial growth has been attributed to Government policy support, low labour wages, and easy market access.

With such a tremendous rise in the country's apparel exports, Bangladesh is today poised to take a leap further by exporting to more markets.

Speaking to Fibre2fashion, Mr Jalal Ahmed, Vice Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh, said, “Over the years, the Bangladeshi RMG sector has attained certain quality standards and has been able to create demand for its products”.

Elucidating about the Bangladesh garment industry exploring potential foreign markets, Mr. Ahmed said, “Our main market is the USA and European Union, so we want to diversify and enter new markets.”

“Countries like China, Japan, Australia, South Africa and certainly India can be the new markets for Bangladeshi garments. We are also looking at Russia and Latin America,” he added.

He said the EPB is going to send a delegation to Russia for exploring business opportunities. He revealed that the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures & Exporters Association (BKMEA) has already sent a delegation to Brazil twice.

Talking about the current economic slowdown in the US, the key market for Bangladeshi apparel items, Mr. Ahmed said, “We are apprehensive and cautious that there might be some problem. But, our experience says that in 2008-09 when the first recession took place, we were not very hard-hit. So, even in this year we shall maintain our growth in exports.”

“Bangladesh mainly exports low- to mid-range products to the US, which are less affected by recession compared to high-end items,” he reasoned.

He informed that the Bangladesh Garment Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BGMEA) was little apprehensive about exports to the USA this year due to the current financial crisis, but there has been no decline in RMG exports last month. However, “we will be cautious and careful,” he said.

The EPB Vice Chairman sounded optimistic about the country's RMG sector maintaining the current growth rate.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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